Physical Therapist License Defense
New York Physical Therapists License Defense
Whether you’re a New York licensed physical therapist facing a government investigation, disciplinary action or criminal charges, the attorneys at Norman Spencer and Associates are here to help. Our lawyers have years of experience representing licensed physical therapists in a wide spectrum of cases. These include insurance audits, federal criminal cases, and investigations by the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) and State Board of Physical Therapy.
Attorneys for Physical Therapy License Defense
Allegations of professional misconduct are the most common issues facing New York physical therapists. The field is regulated by the State Board of Physical Therapy, and complaints made against licensed physical therapist are investigated by the State Board of Physical Therapy as well as the State Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline (OPD).
There are many types of professional misconduct, with the full list contained in state education law. While the list is rather extensive, some of the most common allegations of misconduct we’ve seen in our years working with New York physical therapists include:
- Conviction of crimes in New York or other jurisdictions
- Fraudulent practices, including fraudulent billing of Medicaid and insurance
- Inadequate record keeping
- Professional discipline by a state other than New York
- Situations that involve breach of boundaries, which include sexual contact with patients as well as extending the relationship with patients in a manner that goes outside the scope of a professional relationship
Allegations of negligence can cover a wide variety of situations. Some of the most common we’ve seen include:
- Inadequate evaluation of patients
- Inadequate supervision of patient during aqua therapy
- Permitting unlicensed staff members to provide treatment
- Using improper modalities or causing patient harm
The majority of physical therapist complaints are filed by patients, but they may also come from a variety of other sources. These can include law enforcement authorities, state boards, insurance companies and other entities.
How Physical Therapist Investigations Work
When an investigation is launched, the OPD sends the physical therapist a letter. The letter typically requests patient records as well as an in-person interview with the physical therapist and the investigator. While New York physical therapists are obliged to cooperate with investigators by providing records and other documentation, they are not obliged to meet for an interview.
The attorneys at Norman Spencer and Associates strongly urge against it without first seeking qualified legal counsel. The job of an investigator is to gather evidence to build a case against the targeted physical therapist, and an interview generally gives investigators rich fodder to use against you. It’s imperative to seek legal advice when confronted with legal problems to safeguard your license, reputation and career.
Professional Misconduct Charges and Penalties
Once the investigation is complete, the investigative committee can either dismiss the case or recommend that charges be filed. Cases are dismissed when there is insufficient evidence of professional misconduct. Charges are filed when enough evidence exists. The committee will recommend charges be brought against the physical therapist while also proposing a penalty.
Penalties for physical therapist professional misconduct cases can run the gamut from fines and probation to license suspension or revocation. The outcome depends on a variety of factors, one of which is the legal counsel you select. It’s not only imperative to seek out legal counsel as quickly as possible after learning you are under investigation, but it’s crucial to choose a lawyer with experience in the field.
You want an attorney with a background in the highly specific field of New York physical therapist disciplinary cases. Always check the attorney’s credentials, digging deeper than the claims made on attorney websites. Do your due diligence to find a legal team that not only has experience defending physical therapists in New York, but one that also has a track record of favorable client results.
It’s important to be cautious with an attorney who offers to merely accompany you to the OPD interview. If you make damaging statements to the OPD investigator, it doesn’t matter if you have a lawyer with you. Those statements are still on record. You instead want to meet with an attorney to discuss you case in detail prior to any interview with investigators. The lawyers here at Norman Spencer and Associates will stay with you through every phase of an investigation, and we’re available for a consultation at your convenience.
New York Physical Therapist Criminal Defense
Criminal prosecution is another serious issue New York physical therapists may face. Criminal cases may involve:
- No fault insurance fraud
- Medicare and Medicaid fraud
- Sexual misconduct
The healthcare lawyers at Norman Spencer and Associates have been successfully representing New York physical therapists in federal and state courts for more than a decade, walking them through every phase of the criminal process. If you’re facing criminal charges, call our office immediately. It’s essential you discuss details with one of our lawyers before you discuss anything with law enforcement. We’re here to help protect your license, your livelihood, your career. Contact us to schedule an immediate consultation.